Tag Archives: Graduate school

Countdown To Graduation Check List

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Mike

by Jason Bache

As a senior in college, the countdown towards graduation is in full swing. Every time I walk to class now, I realize how much I cherish my time here in college. That being said, there is plenty I need to do to get ready for graduation and make sure I end the year successfully.

Here are the top 3 things to make sure your graduation goes off without a hitch:

1) Apply for Graduation.

Although this may seem obvious, for some students this is an easily overlooked task. Confirm with your advisor that you have taken the required course load, and make sure the school registrar has you registered for graduation. Filling out your graduation paperwork is an important task on the way to graduating from school.

2) Send out Graduation Announcements.

Don’t hesitate to share the world the news that you’re graduating! Although some people might find them a little old-fashioned, I’m sure your mother doesn’t! Sending out graduation announcements can be fun and it’s always nice to let people know that you’ve successfully navigated the rough waters of college.

3) Order your cap and gown.

Trust me; you don’t want to be the guy or girl with no cap and gown the day before graduation. At UVa, we have cap and gown week, where the school makes a big deal out of all the graduating 4th years. You can probably order these at the school bookstore when you’re laughing at all the miserable people still buying expensive textbooks!

So there you have it, a quick checklist to make sure you are on track to graduate. If anything else, make sure to keep attending class and study as hard as you did when you were a freshman. You can’t graduate if you fail out of school!

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Top 6 Tips for Preparing for Graduation

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By BookRenter Nicole

by Jason Bache

It’s your last semester of college, and graduation is right around the corner! But before you get a major case of Senioritis, here are a few things to keep in mind before the big day.

  • Schedule a meeting with your advisor to check up on your student record. You should have a chat with him/her to make sure that you’re even eligible to graduate. Some things you should bring up are: Did I meet all of the requirements to graduate? Do I still have outstanding credits? Did I transfer those study abroad credits to my current record? Did my transcripts from the other university transfer successfully?
  • Make sure there aren’t any discrepancies on your degree evaluation. If you notice something funky, make sure to investigate and correct it before it’s too late.
  • Keep in mind that walking and attending the Commencement exercises may be different. If you still have more units to complete, you could technically just be walking in the ceremony, not actually graduating…yet.
  • Double check that you don’t have any outstanding balances with your college/university that would prevent you from receiving your diploma or transcripts. You don’t want to have to go through the whole exciting process only to realize that your diploma can’t be sent to you until you pay off that year you dormed on campus.
  • APPLY FOR GRADUATION. (You’d be surprised at how many students don’t know that you actually have to apply to graduate.) The school’s registrar team basically audits your academic records to ensure that all of the institution’s obligations have been met. For some schools, there may be a separate application for each degree you’re applying for. Whether the application is online at your school’s website, or at the advisor’s office, or even in a folder on the 2nd shelf, in aisle 5 of the campus bookstore — make sure to apply for graduation.
  • Attend your school’s grad events! You can order personalized announcements, class rings, take professional pictures, order your cap and gown, and choose your diploma frame! It’s where you can get all of your fancy grad stuff!

These are just some ideas you may want to keep in mind. But what you really want to do is check your own school’s checklist. Get all of your graduation info together! Besides, once you get this all squared away, you can go back to enjoying Senior year!

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Mike’s Top 3 Tips for Acing Exams

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By BookRenter Mike

In sports, it’s called the stretch run. That time of the year when the season is winding down, and the end is in sight. Yet even though the end is near, there is much work to be done to make the playoffs, win a championship, and say it’s been a successful year. As I endure the cold, harsh days of winter in Virginia, I have come to understand that as a student this is my stretch run. For me exams are not right around the corner, they are here. I’ve been to all my classes, I’ve gone to as many office hours as I can, and therefore the time for cramming is now! Hence, here are my top 3 tips for acing exams and feeling good during finals week.

by brianc

1. Make an Exam Schedule with the date and time of all of your exams/papers

This seems so easy to do in your head, but few people actually write down their exam times on a calendar or a piece of paper. It’s one thing to know when your exams will take place, but mapping out your schedule will improve your time management and help you find out when you should be resting versus studying. Highlight your hardest anticipated exam in order to make sure you have ample time to study because you don’t want to be caught flatfooted studying for two exams in one night when you’ve been resting the previous couple of days.

2. Break down a difficult exam into themes and important overarching topics

If by no fault of your own you find yourself stuck with only one night to study for an exam, I guarantee that you can still do very well on the exam. Often times, students will get overwhelmed if the subject matter seems complicated or if there is a lot of study material. Breaking down the subject matter into themes will help you understand the course better and help you hone in on what you do and don’t understand. Some professors may give you a study guide to help you identify these themes, but more often than not you’re on your own. Don’t worry though; important themes become clearer and clearer the more you immerse yourself in the subject matter.

3.     Rely on friends and classmates to motivate and push you to succeed

During finals week, students have a tendency to hole up and lock out the outside world until all of their finals are over. This is a terrible idea for many reasons, the #1 being that the absolute worst thing to do during finals is to change up your established routine. Final exams may count for more, but at the end of the day they are still just tests. Study in groups or pairs because often times teaching others or learning from peers will boost your understanding of the subject material. Plus, everyone tends to stress out during finals week and it always helps to have somebody nearby to keep you focused and on task. They may even have better notes than you!

They call it the stretch run because players and coaches have to stretch themselves to the limit in order to succeed. So get ready, it’s the educational stretch run, and it’s time to really push yourself. Have any good tips or advice on crushing exams? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

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Picture Yourself With a Higher Degree

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The following post is from the blog Edudemic.com

Why It Pays To Earn A Higher Degree [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s no secret that school is hard. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sacrifices. But does it pay off? An infographic based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says…it does.

As you can see from the infographic (below) by US College Search, the higher degree-holders not only have higher-paying jobs but they also have a lower unemployment rate. That means it’s worth taking night school towards that next degree even if its just for increased job security. Just how much money does a higher degree earn you? Take a look at the bottom left figures. Those dollar amounts are the median weekly earnings (from 2008) and show a substantial increase when you multiply those figures 52 times (the number of weeks in a year). Want to see this infographic a bit bigger? Click the image to enlarge.

Still not convinced? Let us know if you think it’s really worthwhile to spend the time and effort in getting a higher degree. Think it’s too expensive? Check out the Harvard Extension School to see how you can get a Harvard Master’s Degree for a reasonable price. Let us know what you think by tweeting us with @edudemic in the tweet!

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Shopping for Graduate School Programs

Filed under: College Life, Education - BookRenter Team
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The below post is from guest blogger Lynn O’Shaughnessy, a college consultant and speaker. Lynn is the author of The College Solution and a new eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Price of a Bachelor’s Degree. She write college blogs for TheCollegeSolutionBlog and for CBSMoneyWatch.

Graduate School Programs? Shopping for the Right One

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How do you shop for graduate school programs?

With the economy still floundering, more Americans are considering attending graduate school. But how do you find the best ones?

Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Thomas A. Benton, an English professor at Hope College made a stab at answering that question. He observed that the  universities receiving the highest graduate school rankings aren’t always the best places to earn a graduate degree – at least in the humanities.

The graduate schools and programs that receive the highest rankings don’t always deliver when graduates are looking for jobs. The elite research universities prepare their graduates to teach at other research universities, but most teaching jobs are at non-elite colleges.

Hiring committees at the schools lower on the food chain, however, can be suspicious of candidates from top-ranked graduate school programs. They suspect that these graduates will leave as soon as possible.

So how do you evaluate a graduate program without looking at the dubious rankings? Here are some of the questions that Benton says future graduate students should ask:

  1. What kind of financial support can a student expect to receive during the entire course of the program?
  2. How much educational debt do graduates leave with?
  3. How many discussion sections and courses are graduate students required to teach in order to receive a stipend each year?
  4. What is the average annual teaching load for graduate students?
  5. How many years does it typically take to graduate?
  6. How long are graduates on the academic job market?
  7. Where is every graduate employed in academe and in what positions: tenure track, visiting, adjunct?
  8. Where are graduates working, if not in academe?
  9. Does the program lead to appealing career paths outside of academe?
  10. What percentage of students earn doctorates?
  11. How many earn master’s degrees?
  12. What reason do students drop out?

If you’re considering graduate school, this is a great list of questions to start off your search. And whatever you do, don’t believe the rankings hype.

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